White papers are expensive. They should be: they need serious thought, strong material, and excellent writing to make them a truly valuable marketing tool.
So if you’re going to invest in a white paper, it’s important to leverage your investment as much as possible. One white paper can be re-purposed to function as a variety of marketing tools. Here are my top 10.
1. Post it on your web site. Create a companion landing page with sign up form and express consent opt-in (for more on this, see my post on Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation).
2. Outbound marketing lead conversion – with a landing page on your web site, use your white paper as the fulfillment in a direct marketing campaign (email or print). Gather critical information on your lead through a sign-up form and commercial email message permission.
3. Inbound marketing lead conversion – post on LinkedIn or other industry sites (like Spiceworks) to encourage readers to download your white paper. Like outbound marketing, use the landing page to collect critical contact information and express permission to send CEM’s.
4. Webcast it. If the information in your white paper is really interesting to your target market, then why not use it as the source material for a webcast. Thought leadership papers, or problem-solution papers work well for this.
5. Blog posts. From one white paper, you can create a series of blog posts – like a syndicated column, you share only so much with each blog post, encouraging readers to come back.
6. Marketing newsletter. Lead with the key point in your white paper, then push newsletter readers to your landing page where they can obtain the white paper. It’s your chance to gather even more information about your prospects and customers, and further develop the lead.
7. Trade show marketing – offer your white paper as a fulfillment piece at a trade show. Just be sure to obtain express permission for CEM’s from people completing the ballot or leaving their business card.
8. Present it at an industry conference or user group meeting. If you’ve got something to say about the industry, emerging technologies, or even an interesting problem-solution case study; then it might be interesting enough to become a conference presentation.
9. Post it on Slideshare. If you’ve used your white paper to create a presentation for a webcast, post it on Slideshare for even more exposure. Just be sure to (1) make sure the slides tell the story sufficiently (unlike a hosted presentation where they support the story) and (2) you offer a link to your landing page where readers can sign up to download the entire white paper.
10. White paper sites. Tech Republic says it’s the web’s largest library of free vendor-supplied technical content, and that they have 93,000 White Papers, Software, and Case Studies Downloaded each month. Whether you’ve created a thought leadership paper, a “how-to” or a white paper that identifies a specific issue and the technology solutions to address it, this is a great place to get some exposure to prospects in various stages of the sales lifecycle.
What am I missing? Have you used a white paper in some novel and interesting ways? I’d love to hear what you’ve done – why not leave a reply to this post?
And if you’re looking for a writer who understands your technology and can help you create a killer white paper, then give me a call at 905-439-9340, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.